When you've just spent three hours of the previous night stuck on an icy I-5, it can be hard to focus on the positive. But that's exactly why we thought it's time for a little gratitude. Because let's face it, when there isn't a winter storm (and most years, there isn't), this is a hell of a great place to live. And in honor of Thanksgiving, we've assembled 50 reasons why.
2. City politicians want even panhandlers to be more polite.
3. Throwing your garbage into the backyard isn't littering; it's composting.
5. For a third (and, please Lord, final) time, we saved this damn state from Dino Rossi.
6. Our beer-belly mayor wants to keep bars open all night. (Gag on that, SF!)
7. West Seattleites can watch killer whales from their bedroom windows.
8. Fine, our teams suck*. But we've showed the whole country how to be soccer fans.
[*Except the Storm! Except the Storm! Sheesh.]
9. The art scene really is about art, not commerce.
10. You can go from breakfasting in Georgetown to snowboarding on a mountainside in less than 90 minutes.
11. The biggest tourist attraction in town is a salt-of-the-earth market that locals love too. (And we saved it from New York developers in the 70s! OK, maybe you moved here three decades later, but give yourself a pat on the back anyway--you'd have done the same.)
12. Clubs, labels, talent, and rabid music geeks: We're like a self-sustaining, vertically-integrated, indie-rock paradise.
13. Every time you think your bus ride can't become more of a circus, it does.
14. August. Most years.
15. You can stumble around the ID drunk and blindfolded, and still be guaranteed to crash through the doors of a first-rate restaurant with cut-rate prices.
16. Oh, him? He's only the best bartender in America.
17. There are more dogs in this town than children, which is good because the dog is never going to demand an iPhone.
18. It's not a freeze; it's called giving people space.
19. Gray weather makes for better naps.
20. Playgrounds, low-income housing, school rehabs, bike sharrows--there isn't a city improvement project we won't tax ourselves for. (Just wondering, John Boehner, but has anyone expressed a desire to move to your shitty hometown since the opening song of WKRP aired for the final time?)
21. Even the cab drivers are listening to public radio.
22. Reclaiming and rehabbing old buildings is the thing to do (see: Melrose Market).
23. An army of fanatical, indie entrepreneurs who could be succeeding at pretty much anything in life are focused on one singular goal: providing you a better cup of coffee.
24. Police give tickets--and, occasionally, punches--for jaywalking, but most drivers can't wait to wave you ahead of them in the crosswalk.
25. Isolating oneself in nature's tranquil bosom doesn't require leaving the city; just walking to Seward Park (or a half-dozen others).
26. The most popular lesbian bar in town is a basketball arena, any night the Storm play a home game at the Key.
27. Listening to transplants whine about a) the weather, b) the people, and c) the driving.
28. Lost your job? Go collect some of the most generous unemployment payments in the country.
29. The Blue Moon has more lives than a cat.
30. Our local celebrity forecaster isn't telegenic or charming, and doesn't give shout-outs to school kids or old ladies with birthdays--we get our weather from an atmospheric scientist.
31. Watching transplants emerge from a Saturday visit to REI as fully geared-up, made-over mountain men.
32. To live in a city this hip and be able to get a killer snitter at 45-year-old Nielsen's Pastries?
33. Safeco Field's best seats (the center field bleachers) are also its cheapest.
34. Nothing you buy at Barneys will impress anyone as much as a great find at Value Village.
35. The most diverse neighborhood in town is called White Center.
36. Electric boat rentals!
37. Grabbing a handful of insanely fresh cheese curds at Beecher's.
38. Northwest Film Forum--everything you could watch in New York, but with nicer smelling streets.
39. True, your Microsoft friends may not have the greatest social skills, but those Xbox discounts are still pretty sweet.
40. Kenny G and Courtney both moved to L.A.
41. Seattle Center. Why does everybody talk about this place like it's a problem? Where the hell would the Gay Pride party, Bumbershoot, Folklife, and a hundred other quintessential Seattle events, huge and obscure, be without this place? It's the solution.
42. A summer commute on the West Seattle passenger ferry--now that's living!
43. You can wear a ballcap and sweats to the nicest steakhouse downtown, and no one will look askance.
44. Local skiers have 100 words for snow...and will gladly share them.
45. Recession be damned; amazing restaurants just keep opening. (How is this possible?)
46. No matter what the bureaucrats and big-shot developers propose to do, John Fox--guard dog for the city's conscience--will always be there with a 10-page memo outlining the ways low-income Seattleites could get screwed.
47. You can hear better bands on a Tuesday night than you can in most cities on a Friday.
48. A meatball sammy at Salumi. Thanks Armandino.
49. The best-known lakefront park in our greenest of cities features a rusted coal gasification plant as its primary draw.
50. Wherever you go, when you tell them you live in Seattle, they'll say: "That's cool." And it is!